"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

De-Baatification ? Who's idea was it ?, Bush, Bremer, Pentagon , Rummy - not me Guv.

"We're going to be on the ground in Iraq as soldiers and citizens for years. We're going to be running a colony almost,"
Cincinnati Business Courier, February 23 2003

In the Daily Telegraph today Alex Spillius in Washington, comments George Bush was 'not engaged' in crucial decisions - based on Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W Bush, by Robert Draper - he reveals that the US president was not fully engaged in key policy areas, including the disbandment of the Iraqi army.

The book suggests Mr Bush was unaware the Iraqi army was to be broken up by Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, in May 2003, a decision seen as one of the biggest post-invasion mistakes as it put hundreds of thousands of armed men on the street.

Alex Spillius says that Mr Bremer responded angrily yesterday to the suggestion that he had taken the decision unilaterally.

He showed the New York Times a letter to the president that said he planned to "dissolve Saddam's military and intelligence structures".

Bremer was interviewed in some detail on this subject during a PBS radio interview on October 17th 2006

Where does the CPA Order No. 1 come from, the de-Baathification decree? What was the thinking? How did it evolve? Did you come with it in mind?

The concept behind the de-Baathification decree was that the Baath Party had been one of the primary instruments of Saddam's control and tyranny over the Iraqi people for decades. Saddam Hussein himself openly acknowledged that he modeled the Baath Party on the Nazi Party because he admired the way in which Hitler was able to use the Nazi Party to control the German people. Just as in our occupation of Germany we had passed what were called "de-Nazification decrees" and prosecuted senior Nazi officials, the model for the de-Baathification was to look back at that de-Nazification.

The decree itself I saw actually the day before I left for Baghdad. It was shown to me. I guess it had been being worked [on] in the Pentagon. I don't know all the details of who looked at it, ... but the lawyers and everybody had been at it. I suggested that the decree not be issued right away, that it be held until I got to Baghdad so that I could [get] a sense of what we were going to do and how we were going to do it.

Now, in his freedom message in April, before I got there, the Baath Party had already been outlawed by [then-CENTCOM Commander] Gen. [Tommy] Franks. So the question then was, what do we do about officials in the Baath Party? ...

Garner sees it and takes it to the CIA station chief or whatever, and they come roaring into you. Do you remember that?

No, I don't remember hearing from them. I knew that the agency estimated -- and I double-checked it after I got there -- that it would affect about 1 percent of the Baath Party members, [roughly 20,000] people.

You don't remember these guys coming in and saying, "Thirty thousand to 50,000 people -- my God, what are you doing?"

It doesn't mean it didn't happen. I was working 20 hours a day in that period as well, and this wasn't the only thing on my list of things to do the first five days I was there. I had a lot of other things to do.
But this is a big one, right?

There were a lot of big things that first five days. There were a lot of big things the first 48 hours. I don't say it didn't happen. I knew there were concerns. I knew the agency made the assessment that there were about 20,000 people to be thrown out of work, and I judged in the end that that was a risk that we were willing to take. ...

He may have come in and spoken to me at great length about it. I just don't remember it, honestly don't remember it. But I was under no illusions it was going to be difficult. I'm not trying to dust off his concerns; I'm just saying I don't remember the meeting.

Did you feel like you were rolling the dice a little bit, though? I mean, it kind of intuitively makes sense that you don't want to let too many of them go. You want infrastructure.

I had to keep my eye on the broader strategic picture here, too, which was that we had sent an American Army halfway around the world to throw out this hated regime. American men and women had lost their lives in that process. The Iraqi people had a promise of a better life from this process of getting rid of Saddam Hussein, and the promise of better government.
In my view, one had to weigh the potential negative consequences of some people being unhappy against the broader goals and what we were trying to accomplish in Iraq. To me, it was the right thing to do.

It was, in historical terms, compared to de-Nazification in Germany on which it was modeled, much, much milder than what we did in Germany.

Just so that I understand, was or wasn't this your plan?

No, it wasn't my plan. It was a plan that had been discussed and worked on, I suppose, with some intensity in the government. As I said, I was shown this draft decree the day before I left, so it was well-developed long before I was even in the government.

I might add one thing on this de-Baathification, which is important to remember: The State Department, a year before the war, had called together a group of Iraqi exiles to talk about what a post-Saddam Iraq would look like. The resulting study, which was a 2,000-to-3,000-page study called the Future of Iraq Project, was all over the lot in terms of what postwar Iraq should look like, except on one subject: De-Baathification absolutely had to happen; the senior members of the Baath Party had to be got rid of, and the Baath ideology should be got rid of.
The impetus for this was not some idea that sprung full blown from somebody's head in the United States government. This was based on the recommendation of Iraqis who were in exile
. ...

This was also detailed in Bremer's apologium book "My year in Iraq" see Lord Patel post Sunday September 2nd 2007
Quote ..

"Major General Tim Cross,CBE, the most senior British officer involved with Jay Garner and one of his three deputies within the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is mentioned once in Paul "Call me Jerry" Bremer's " My Year in IRAQ". He appears once in it's pages, on Page 17 his presence is noted at the first meeting of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He apparently had an impressive history in logistics and He became the first Commander Logistic Support of 3 (UK) Division in preparation for the formation of the Royal Logistic Corps in April 1993.

It was at this meeting (described on Page 19) that "Jerry" told them that he was going to introduce an order on De-Baatification - anathematised by General Janus Jackson - "Jerry" doesn't record that there was a single peep of resistance to the idea.

On Page 20 he records at the end of the meeting..."Some .. at the table looked inspired some faces showed no emotion and a few seemed dubious" Who knows , Tim maybe looked dubious."

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